The Illinois Helpline can help you understand the signs. And help you get the help that you need.
That’s a win, for you and the people that you care about.
If you see the signs of problem gambling, let us help. The Illinois Helpline is here to provide support and referrals for problem gambling and substance use.
Recognize the signs
Needing to gamble with more money to keep gambling exciting
Feeling irritated or restless when trying to cut back on gambling
Trying to cut back or stop gambling, but not being able to
Thinking about gambling a lot
Gambling when you’re upset
Chasing losses (gambling more to win back money after losing)
Trying to hide gambling by lying
Having problems with relationships, work, or school because of gambling
Needing to borrow money as a result of gambling losses
Was I really winning?
I had too much fear and shame to tell anyone the truth.
Until I got help.”
Number of people in Illinois who experience problem gambling, or who are at risk for problem gambling.
Gambling is common in Illinois, with many people playing their chances with the lottery, and others with video game terminals, casinos, or sports betting. But many people don’t understand that gambling, betting, and gaming may not be just a pastime, it can become a serious problem.
People with problem gambling might become irritable or anxious, keep family and friends from knowing how much they gamble, or need financial help. And people with substance use disorder or other mental health issues might be at greater risk for problem gambling.
About Problem Gambling
Betting, gaming, wagering – gambling can take many forms. And for some people, gambling can lead to financial problems, relationship problems, and depression and anxiety.
But you don’t have to feel out of control. Problem gambling can be managed and treated. You have options, and the Helpline offers support and referrals to the programs that work best for you.
The first step is understanding that some people experience gambling as an addiction, and that there is help. Some people might choose to exclude themselves from casinos or sports betting (called Voluntary Self-Exclusion) or register with the Problem Gambling Registry for Video Gaming. Other options include counseling and self-help and recovery support. Our Helpline Specialists can help you understand problem gambling, the risks and signs, and the support available throughout Illinois.
Was I really winning?
I was not really winning until I asked for help.”
Whether you’re working with a client or patient who might be experiencing problem gambling, or you offer problem gambling treatment services, the Helpline can support you.
Providers can speak with a Helpline Specialist for treatment referrals or search online for services. And if your client is experiencing substance use disorder, too — many people experience problem gambling as a co-occurring disorder — the Helpline can help to assess their needs and provide treatment referrals.
Problem gambling treatment providers can keep their program information updated through the provider portal.
Providers of all kinds can learn more about problem gambling, how communities are impacted by problem gambling, treatment available, and more offered by the IL Council on Problem Gambling.
Any provider can download “Are You Really Winning” digital images, social media posts, and more to help build awareness about problem gambling.
Was I really winning?
I thought I had a money problem, not a gambling problem.
I wouldn’t have anything good in my life if I didn’t get the help I needed.”
Fortunately, help is here.
The IL Department of Human Services’ Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) has launched “Are You Really Winning” to build awareness of problem gambling and to promote IL Helpline services for people experiencing problem gambling. The campaign and Helpline services will help to meet several goals of SUPR for fiscal year 2023. Since July of 2022, the IL Helpline has been providing support and referrals related to problem gambling to strengthen the client-centered approach to behavioral health services. The IL Helpline has offered substance use-related support and referrals since its launch in 2018, and with the addition of problem gambling services, the Helpline can better serve those who may experience co-occurring problem gambling and substance use issues.
The first-ever Illinois statewide gambling and problem gambling needs assessment is now available. Commissioned by the IL Department of Human Services, the assessment looks at the different types of gambling in the state, availability of treatment and other services, the prevalence of problem gambling among different groups, and overall attitudes about gambling. The report also makes recommendations for problem gambling prevention, awareness building, policies, and screening, treatment, and recovery.
Illinois residents now have many more opportunities to gamble, including ten casinos and over 36,000 video gaming terminals, with more expansion planned.
In the past year, the most popular form of gambling that adult Illinoisans participated in was the state lottery (reported by 54.2% of survey respondents), followed by gambling with friends (33.0%), and organized sports and fights betting (15.3%).
The most common forms of gambling that people with problem gambling reported engaging in weekly or more were online gambling (72.3%), racetracks (71.4%), and the lottery (69.9%).
In an average year, people with problem gambling estimated that they spent a median of $16,750 on gambling.
People who engaged in substance use while gambling were more likely to have a gambling problem.
Source: IL Problem gambling assessment report
About Illinois Helpline
The Illinois Helpline is the only statewide, public resource for finding problem gambling support and treatment services in Illinois.
If you see the signs of problem gambling, we’re here for you. 24 hours a day. Our caring, trained Specialists will answer your questions and connect you to treatment options. The Helpline also offers information, support, and referrals for people experiencing substance use.
Whatever your concern, Helpline services are free and confidential. Anyone can use the Helpline, in any language.
The Illinois Helpline is funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery.
© 2022 Health Resources in Action
The Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances is supported wholly or in part through a State Opioid Response (SOR) grant to the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (TI-081699).